A guide to French Cooking: Ragout of Lamb

French-style Ragout of Lamb recipe

Vegetables for a Ragout of Lamb

One of my lasting memory’s of my holiday in Limeuil, is cooking with the wonderful fresh ingredients I bought from the local markets. Gnarled vegetables still covered in soil, meats fresh from the butcher. In early summer the lamb is tender and the vegetables fresh and new. Celebrate them with this simple classic stew

A Ragout is a traditional French stew which mixes meat and vegetables. The recipe can be changed and adapted to what meat you have available and the vegetables currently in season. The base of the sauce is onions, garlic and tomatoes but from there you can build it into a wonderful rich and hearty dish.

Below is a shopping list and sample recipe. I hope you enjoy it!

Shopping List

Serves 2 hungry people: 
A Shoulder of Lamb – Cut into bite sized cubes
2 Storks of Celery chopped
1 Tin of Harricot Beans
1 Large onion coarsely chopped
3 Cloves of Garlic, crushed and finely chopped
2 Chopped Carrots
4 Medium to Large Tomatoes pealed, de-seeded and chopped
Half a bottle of a good Rose Wine
1 Desert spoon of Tomato Pure
1 – 1.5 ltr Vegetable stock
1 tablespoon of flour
Bouquet Garni of Fresh Thyme, Parsley and Bay Leafs (See tips section)
Persillade (See tips section)
Some crusty bread and a good bottle of red wine to serve it with.

Cubed Lamb


Heat 2 tablespoons of Olive oil in a casserole pan or large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the lamb pieces to the pan with a table spoon of flour to help brown the meat, coat the lamb in the flour to help it colour. (This should take about 5 minutes) Once the meat has browned remove it from the pan and set to one side.

Using the same pan, add the onions and garlic (this keeps the flavour the lamb has released into the frying oil). Gently soften the onions and garlic, then after a few minutes add the chopped tomatoes. Cook for about 3-5 minutes over a medium heat. Once the tomatoes are softened add the Lamb back to the pan. Add your Bouquet Garni (see tips section). Stir in a generous desert spoon of tomato pure and finally add the half bottle of wine and enough stock to cover the dish. Season, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and place the lid over the pan. Cook for 45 – 60 minutes. It is ready once the lamb is very tender and the sauce has thickened.

Add a tin of Harricot beans. You could substitute with borlotti beans if you can’t get harricot. Turn the heat up and bring it back to a gentle boil. Cook here for about 10 minutes. Finally take out the Bouquet Garni and add the Persillade stirring through.

Its Ready! I like to serve it with some fresh crusty bread and a nice strong red wine.

Recipe and text By Russell Bowes

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One response to “A guide to French Cooking: Ragout of Lamb

  1. Pingback: A guide to French Cooking: Basic Bouquet Garni Recipe | russellskitchen·

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